Our scripture this week is Luke 24:13-35.
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
This passage is found only in the Gospel of Luke, and teaches us several important things. First and foremost, Jesus Christ is risen, He then appeared to those who knew Him in the flesh, and His interaction with them encouraged them to share the event with others. Each of these things are important to our continuing of His ministry.
We have received the basis for our faith from those who went before us, as the Good News has been shared for generations. His followers saw Him raised, accepted the call He placed on their lives, and went out as He had to share God’s love everywhere. As He taught them, they planted the seed of faith for those who had never known Him through their own profession of faith.
During this time, we may not be able to interact as we want, due to the health issues we face. The apostle Paul and others of their time knew this frustration, and being unable to contact those they wished to share Christ with in person, wrote letters to be shared as a temporary connection, awaiting the time when they could meet personally. While we are temporarily constrained from gathering and sharing in person, God has provided other means for us to stay connected to Him and each other. Let us do what is necessary to protect the health of those around us, but not neglect the ministry of Christ we are each called to provide.
Loving Lord, bless us to be a blessing in Your world. Show us the way to reach others in Your name, even when we are in difficult times. Amen.